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Constitution of Malaysia (1957) – 11: Special Powers against Subversion, Organised Violence, and Act and Crimes Prejudicial to the Public and Emergency Powers

PART XI – SPECIAL POWERS AGAINST SUBVERSION, ORGANISED VIOLENCE, AND ACTS AND CRIMES PREJUDICIAL TO THE PUBLIC AND EMERGENCY POWERS

Article number: 149

(1) If an act of parliament recites that action has been taken or threatened by any substantial body of persons, whether inside or outside the Federation -

(a) to cause, or to cause a substantial number of citizens to fear, organised violence against persons or property; or

(b) to excite disaffection against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any Government in the Federation; or

(c) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or other classes of the population likely to cause violence; or

(d) to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of anything by law established; or

(e) which is prejudicial to the maintenance or the functioning of any supply or service to the public or any class of the public in the Federation or any part thereof; or

(f) which is prejudicial to public order in, or the security of, the Federation or any part thereof, any provision of that law designed to stop or prevent that action is valid notwithstanding that it is inconsistent with any of the provisions of Article 5, 9, 10 or 13, or would apart from this Article be outside the legislative power of Parliament; and Article 79 shall not apply to a Bill for such an Act or any amendment to such a Bill.

(2) A law containing such a recital as is mentioned in Clause (1) shall, if not sooner repealed, cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses of Parliament annulling such law, but without prejudice to anything previously done by virtue thereof or to the power of Parliament to make a new law under this Article.

Article 150

(1) If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency making therein a declaration to that effect.

(2) A Proclamation of Emergency under Clause (1) may be issued before the actual occurrence of the event which threatens the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that there is imminent danger of the occurrence of such event.

(2A) The power conferred on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by this Article shall include the power to issue different Proclamations on different grounds or in different circumstances, whether or not there is a Proclamation or Proclamations already issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Clause (1) and such Proclamation or Proclamations are in operation.

(2B) If at any time while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, except when both Houses of Parliament are sitting concurrently, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that certain circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such ordinances as circumstances appear to him to require.

(2C) An ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament, and shall continue in full force and effect as if it is an Act of Parliament until it is revoked or annulled under Clause (3) or until it lapses under Clause (7); and the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to promulgate ordinances under Clause (2B) may be exercised in relation to any matter with respect to which Parliament has power to make laws regardless of the legislative or other procedures required to be followed, or the proportion of the total votes required to be had, in either House of Parliament.

(3) A Proclamation of Emergency and any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses annulling such Proclamation or ordinance, but without prejudice to anything previously done by virtue thereof or to the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue a new Proclamation under Clause (1) or promulgate any ordinance under Clause (2B).

(4) While a Proclamation of Emergency is in force the executive authority of the Federation shall, notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, extent to any matter within the legislative authority of a State and to the giving of directions to the Government of a State or to any officer or authority thereof.

(5) Subject to Clause (6A), while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force, Parliament may, not-withstanding anything in this Constitution make laws with respect to any matter, if it appears to Parliament that the law is required by reason of the emergency; and Article 79 shall not apply to a Bill for such a law or an amendment to such a Bill, nor shall any provision of this Constitution or of any written law which requires any consent or concurrence to the passing of a law or any consultation with respect thereto, or which restricts the coming into force of a law after it is passed or the presentation of a Bill to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his assent.

(6) Subject to Clause (6A), no provision of any ordinance promulgated under this Article, and no provision of any Act of Parliament which is passed while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force and which declares that the law appears to Parliament to be required by reason of the emergency, shall be invalid on the ground of inconsistency with any provision of this Constitution.

(6A) Clause (5) shall not extend the powers of Parliament with respect to any matter of Islamic law or the custom of the Malays, or with respect to any matter of native law or custom in the State of Sabah or Sarawak; nor shall Clause (6) validate any provision inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution relating to any such matter or relating to religion, citizenship, or language.

(7) At the expiration of a period of six months beginning with the date on which a Proclamation of Emergency ceases to be in force, any ordinance promulgated in pursuance of the Proclamation and, to the extent that it could not have been validly made but for this Article any law made while the Proclamation was in force, shall cease to have effect, except as to things done or omitted to be done before the expiration of that period.

(8) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution -

(a) the satisfaction of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong mentioned in Clause (1) and Clause (2B) shall be final and conclusive and shall not be challenged or called in question in any court on any ground; and

(b) no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any application, question or proceeding, in whatever form, on any ground, regarding the validity of-

(i) a Proclamation under Clauses (1) or of a declaration made in such Proclamation to the effect stated in Clause (1);

(ii) the continued operation of such Proclamation;

(iii) any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B); or

(iv) the continuation in force of any such ordinance.

(9) For the purpose of this Article the Houses of Parliament shall be regarded as sitting only if the members of each House are respectively assembled together and carrying out the business of the House.

Article 151

(1) Where any law or ordinance made or promulgated in pursuance of this Part provides for preventive detention-

(a) the authority on whose order any person is detained under that law or ordinance shall, as soon as may be, inform him of the grounds for his detention and, subject to Clause (3), the allegations of fact on which the order is based, and shall give him the opportunity of making representations against the order as soon as may be;

(b) no citizen shall continue to be detained under that law or ordinance unless an advisory board constituted as mentioned in Clause (2) has considered any representations made by him under paragraph (a) and made recommendations thereon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong within three months of receiving such representations, or within such longer period as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may allow.

(2) An advisory board constituted for the purposes of this Article shall consist of a chairman, who shall be ap,pointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and who shall be or have been, or be qualified to be, a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, or shall before Malaysia Day have been a judge of the Supreme Court, and two other members, who shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the Lord President of the Supreme Court.

(3) This Article does not require any authority to disclose facts whose disclosure would in its opinion be against the national interest.

Next: Chapter 12 – General and Miscellaneous